Electrokinetic generation of microvortex patterns in a microchannel liquid flow

Alex Siu Wai Ng, Winky Lap Wing Hau, Yi Kuen Lee, Yitshak Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The technology developed for micropatterning the electric surface charge to be negative, positive or neutral enables the realization of complex liquid flows in simple microchannels. A commercial CFD code is utilized to numerically simulate a variety of electrokinetically-generated liquid flows in a straight and uniform microchannel due to non-uniform surface charge distribution under an externally applied, steady electric field. We present design methodologies to electrokinetically drive vortical flows in any desired direction. In particular, we investigate surface charge patterns required to generate single or multi, co-rotating or counter-rotating, in-plane or out-of-plane vortices. Finally, in view of its potential application to microscale mixing, we discuss a surface charge pattern that can give rise to streamwise vorticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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